Johnathan Ford, a four-star running back who rushed for 1,669 yards and 27 touchdowns at New Hope, Ala., High School, just committed to Auburn. The Tigers only have two returning scholarship tailbacks. Cameron Artis-Payne, Peyton Barber and Ford are big pickups.
Signing Day Tiger Tidbits
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Montravius Adams, Brandon King, and Daniel Carlson's paperwork have arrived. That accounts for everybody who is currently committed since Jimmy Hutchinson is planning on taking a greyshirt.
Alexander's fax has arrived.
Now Deon Mix's fax is officially in. Adams and Mackenro Alexander have announced for Auburn, but their paperwork has yet to arrive. Mackenro's brother Mackensie, the higher-rated prospect of the two, announced for Clemson.
Up next on the agenda for the day is Johnathan Ford at 11 a.m. The running back will likely choose Auburn or Tennessee.
And, for what it's worth, Alabama has received Reuben Foster's paperwork. Also, Bower has signed with LSU.
Up next on the watch list is the announcement of the Alexander brothers at 10:15 a.m. Central on ESPNU. For the latest on that check out Tidbit #10 below.
Jason Smith has signed, giving Auburn 17 officially. Once Mix and Adams' paperwork come through that would be 19.
Earlier reports had Tashawn Bower signing with Florida, but that doesn't appear to be the case. He has yet to decide.
Five-star defensive tackle Montravius Adams just announced for Auburn. It doesn't get any bigger than that on signing day.
*A couple of other high-profile prospects have announced their intentions this morning. Safety Vonn Bell chose Ohio State and Laremy Tunsil is head to Ole Miss.
Georgia lost out on all three five-star prospects in its own state.
Auburn is sitting at 17 commitments with Montravius Adams' decision coming up at 8:45 on ESPNU. Two additions have been made to the class with Ole Miss commitment Elijah Daniel becoming the first Auburn commitment of the day and Deon Mix from South Panola High School pledging for the Tigers as well. The only loss for Auburn was Tashawn Bower to Florida, but he was a player who had been waivering on his commitment for months.
The only commitments Auburn is waiting on for signatures are Brandon King, Jason Smith and Daniel Carlson.
Hutchinson Junior College linebacker Kenny Flowers, Huntsville linebacker Cameron Toney and Pinson Valley receiver Earnest Robinson are in. That puts Auburn at 17 so far.
Alabama's 2012 Mr. Football Jeremy Johnson, perhaps the centerpiece to the recruiting class, has signed his letter of intent. Johnson, a long and athletic quarterback, is a great fit for Malzahn's system.
A handful of prospects have signed with the Tigers including one who was not previously committed –offensive lineman Deon Mix. The U.S. Army All-American visited Auburn officially over the weekend and is from football powerhouse South Panola in Batesville, Miss.
Also signing with Auburn are Milton, Ga., High teammates Carl Lawson and Peyton Barber, junior college quarterback Nick Marshall and safety Khari Harding. Linebacker Grant Smith from Milton High intends to walk-on at Auburn.
The first fax from the Central time zone has arrived from Kamryn Melton, a cornerback from Dothan High School. Melton is the only corner expected to sign with Auburn today after the Tigers signed three last February.
Another player from the Sunshine State has signed with the Tigers. Marcus Davis sent his letter of intent and is the fourth player of the day. Scout.com lists Davis as a cornerback, but Davis will likely get his first look at receiver on the Plains. He was a dual-threat quarterback at American Heritage High School in Delray Beach.
Tony Stevens' teammate Dominic Walker, another receiver, has signed with Auburn. Walker was a previous Nebraska commitment until committing to Auburn on Jan. 25.
*In other news around the SEC, the nation's #1 prospect Robert Nkemdiche has signed with Ole Miss. Head coach Hugh Freeze is expected to sign an excellent class today.
Four-star receiver Tony Stevens from Evans High School in Orlando is the second signee of the day. Stevens was formerly committed to Texas A&M and Florida State, and could be an impact player for the Tigers this year with only five scholarship receivers returning.
6:30 a.m. Update
There is good news and bad news to start the day for the Tigers on signing day, both concerning defensive ends. Former commit Tashawn Bower has signed with Florida. However, former Ole Miss commit Elijah Daniel from Avon, Ind., has signed with the Tigers. Daniel is the first signee for in the Gus Malzahn Era.
Both are four-star prospects by Scout.com. Daniel is ninth-rated end in the country while Bower is 22nd.
Auburn, Ala.--Welcome to National Signing Day coverage with Inside the Auburn Tigers/AUTigers.com. Coming into the day Auburn has 20 verbal commitments in Gus Malzahn's first class as the Tigers' head coach. The list of 20 is as follows:
Jason Smith is shown in action during the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game.
Running Back Cameron Artis-Payne
Offensive Guard Devonte Danzey
Safety Brandon King
Defensive Tackle Ben Bradley
Quarterback Nick Marshall
Receiver Tony Stevens
Safety Khari Harding
Linebacker Kenny Flowers
Receiver Dominic Walker
Punter Jimmy Hutchinson (grayshirt, will enroll at Auburn in January 2014)
Athlete Marcus Davis
Defensive End Carl Lawson
Running Back Peyton Barber
Defensive End Tashawn Bower
Bower, who originally committed under Gene Chizik's staff, is considered a soft commitment. After looking at Florida, Florida State and LSU, Bower will be announcing his decision at 8:30 a.m. CST on Wednesday.
In an era of ever-changing technology, one thing that has remained constant is the use of the fax machine for paperwork on signing day. National Letters of Intent can be sent from the high schools starting at 7 a.m. in each time zone.
Bower, along with Hutchinson, Robinson, Melton, Toney, Johnson, Carlson, Smith, Artis-Payne and Lawson were originally commitments to Chizik's staff while all of the others have been additions since Malzahn was hired on Dec. 4. Lawson, one of the top defensive line prospects in the country, looked around, but re-affirmed his commitment to the Tigers over the weekend on his official visit to Auburn.
Artis-Payne was the only junior college prospect to give his verbal to Chizik's staff. Malzahn has taken a different approach to rebuilding after the 3-9 season adding five more junior college players—Danzey, King, Bradley, Marshall and Flowers.
Artis-Payne, Danzey and Bradley have already enrolled at Auburn and will go through spring practice. Those three are the only signees in the class to enroll for spring semester.
Two of those can be counted back to last year making room for 27 total, which would mean and an additional seven to those already committed. Not all prospects are expected to make their decisions on Wednesday. Junior college prospect Toby Johnson is one who intends on announcing after signing day, on Feb. 19.
With the faxes coming in from the current commitments and several uncommitted prospects still considering the Tigers, it should make for an interesting day.
Five-star defensive tackle Montravius Adams will announce at 8:45 a.m. on ESPNU (all of the following times Central). He will be deciding between Auburn, Alabama, Clemson and Georgia. The Dooly County High senior is rated as the No. 3 player at his position by Scout.com.
Four-star cornerback Mackensie Alexander (and twin brother Mackenro Alexander) are expected to announce their college choices 10:15 a.m. on ESPNU. The Immokalee, Fla., High pair have said they may sign with the same college, but that is not a given. Mackenro, who visited Auburn last weekend, is rated as a three-star safety.
Johnathan Ford, a former Vandy commitment, saw his recruitment intensify late in the process.
Auburn started off hot for in-state prospects in this class, but could sign as few as five. However, two players who flew under the radar for much of their high school careers are still on the board. New Hope High School running back Jonathan Ford, a four-star rated prospect, is choosing between Auburn and Tennessee at 11 a.m. If he gets a late offer from Auburn, Pinson Valley High linebacker Zach Cunningham could choose the Tigers. He is also considering Vanderbilt and Oregon. The four-star recruit is expected to sign at 2 p.m.
South Panola High School offensive lineman Deon Mix from Batesville, Miss., took an official visit to Auburn over the weekend and will announce his decision at 10 a.m. He played in the U.S. Army All-American Game.
Elijah Daniel from Avon, Ind., is an Ole Miss commitment, but also took an official visit to Auburn this weekend. The four-star defensive end is another possibility for the Tigers, and as usual, expect the unexpected on signing day.
Another offensive lineman who visited Auburn this past weekend along with Mix is Devondre Seymour from North Gwinnett High in Suwanee, Ga. He could sign with either Auburn or Georgia on Wednesday.
A prospect who was on Auburn's campus for a midweek visit last week, running back Corn Elder from Nashville, is not expected to announce a decision on signing day. He is also considering offers to play basketball at the college level. Auburn has offered him the option to compete in both sports.
Stay with Inside the Auburn Tigers and Scout.com throughout the day for full coverage. Per NCAA rules college coaches aren't allowed to speak about prospects until they become signees. Malzahn is expected to make his first comments on the 2013 signee class at a 3 p.m. press conference.